"This lively account on ritual, religion, and exchange in the Tamang society of Nepal is sophisticated and well written. Holmberg draws an his informative description of Tamang Buddhism for comparativist insights into marriage exchange, caste, sacrifice, and the coherence of religious fields
. The study illuminates the diversity of types of sacrifice, the interplay of spoken and written ritual languages, and the paradox of exchange that differentiates while promising to unify. Holmberg eloquently testifies to the diverse, irreducible perspectives through which Tamang men and women attempt to unify a religious field defined by shamans, Buddhist lamas, and sacrificers."
"A major contribution to the ethnography of the Tamangs of Nepal. On this basis alone it would be an important work for Himalayan specialists. But it is also an interpretive work, and a work of culture theory. Holmberg's rich ethnographic description of Tamang ritual life is the basis for insightful interpretation, showing that the ritual practices, mythic visions, and fundamental structures of Tamang social existence are deeply interconnected. As an interpretive work, it is of interest to anyone interested in ritual and culture. [Homberg] has done a super job."
- Journal of Ritual Studies
"Graceful, clear, and cogent. A meticulous, insightful, and sensitive ethnography [that] is also a valuable theoretical contribution."
- American Ethnologist
About the Author:
David H. Holmberg is Associate professor of Anthropology at Cornell University.
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